ABC of Metal Part 1 of 3

Black Metal

ABC of Metal Part 1 of 3(2014)  Black Metal is certainly one of the most extreme varieties of Metals - and not just because of Burzum's singer Varg Vikernes' church burnings. The music developed in the late 1980s/early 1990s in Norway. Although the British band Venom named the genre with their 1982 album "Black Metal" ireal Black Metal cannot be heared until years later with bands like Darkthone, Mayhem, Burzum, or Immortal. The style was influenced by bands like Celtic Frost, Bathory, Sodom or Venom. Important was also the Danish heavy metal band Mercyful Fate, particularly because of the make-up ("Corpse Paint") by singer King Diamond and the satanic lyrics were very important for the aesthetic side of Black Metal. Musically, Black Metal is characterized by very fast guitar riffs and the use of blast beats. The music is still mostly kept quite simple and much emphasis is put towards a cold atmosphere. Also concerning the songs' production is rather thin and bumpy to this day. However in contrast various folk influences can be found in the sound of bands such as Burzum or Ulver. The latter have even completely dissolved themselves from Black Metal in the course of their career and turned towards avantgarde electronic music. Bands such as Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir or Emperor, however, opened in the mid-90s and began to include symphonic elements into their sound. The combination of black metal and orchestra is often called Symphonic Black Metal. In recent years, a new wave of black metal bands can be seen in the US (with artists such as Deafheaven, Leviathan or Bosse-de-Nage) that interprets the music a bit more modern and include elements of post-rock.
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Death Metal

Just like Black Metal, Death Metal is also one of the most extreme forms of Heavy Metal - and certainly one of the most popular. After all, there are various sub-genres such as Melodic Death Metal, Deathcore, Grindcore, Brutal Death, Progressive / Technical Death Metal etc. With bands like Possessed, Death and Morbid Angel Death Metal developed in the United States from Thrash Metal. It must also be distinguishes clearly between American abnd European Death Metal. U.S. bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation usually play very fast. Blast beats and tempo or rhythm changes are very common for the majority of the bands, at the same time groovy elements are very respected among American bands. The guitars are tuned down in order to make the music sound bad and harder. Growls are obligatory, the grunted vocals. This is shape to its style, though many bands of the early 90s like Death, Obituary or Entombed did not have them. Meanwhile, growling is a trademark of Death Metal, American-style. European bands such as Entombed or Hypocrisy put more on yelp vocals and a little more melody. Especially Swedish bands mixed death metal with melody and created the genre of Melodic Death Metal. Lyrically, the genre switches between horror and carnage stories to socially critical lyrics. Very rarely Death Metal bands even cover romantic topics, such as the Swedish band Opeth, which mixes Death Metal with folk and progressive rock and offer also long passages with clean vocals and acoustic guitars.
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Doom Metal

: Unlike other metal subgenres, Doom Metal is characterized by the use slower tempos. A blueprint for this genre was "Masters of Reality", Black Sabbath's third album. Doom Metal has created a variety of subgenres, all of which contain the slow pace as the connection point to the original music. The down-tuned guitars sound a bit filthier in Doom Metal, later resulting in the genre of Stoner Rock. Bands like Candlemass, however, play Epic Heavy Metal consistently in mid-tempo, which is often dubbed as the "Epic Doom Metal". In this genre, the lyrics are often made up of mythological subjects, or even fantasy. Also, there is the so-called Death-Doom. As the name suggests, it is the blending of death metal with the slower tempos of Doom Metal. Not very different from that is the so-called funeral doom. Death-Doom is extended to a very sad mood and organ sounds like at a funeral. With Drone Doom the principle of doom metal has been driven to the top, because the extremely down-tuned guitars only produce individual sounds and vibrations. In recent years, Sludge metal could particularly increase its popularity. Bands like Crowbar, Neurosis or younger bands like Kylesa, Mastodon (at least on the first two albums) and High On Fire connect Doom with Hardcore and more recently, Progressive Southern Rock.
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Glam Metal

Often referred to as "Poser Metal", "Pop Metal" or "Hair Metal", glam metal was still one of the largest and longest lasting hypes of the music history. Almost the entire 1980s to the 90s, to be replaced by grunge, bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Ratt or Warrant were rock stars. Older performers such as Van Halen, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Scorpions, Alice Cooper corrected their musical course towards glam metal. Although catchy numbers like Poison's "Nothing But A Good Time", "Cherry Pie" by Warrant, which today is still used in film and television as a soundtrack for sexy deposits or Bon Jovi's evergreen "Living On A Prayer" certainly are prime examples for the sound of the 80's, this genre was still more versatile. Cinderella and Badlands behaved very blues-heavy on their four albums, Kix rocked Classic Rock in the glam gown and Dokken and WASP acted right between glam and heavy metal. The most important stylistic devices next to outrageous outfits and elaborate hairstyles (hence the term "hair metal") and catchy hard rock was the power ballad. No genre has this kind of song perfected in a way that glam metal has. The power ballad is characterized by a quiet verse, a little rocker chorus and a heavier mid section. Millionfold sold examples would are "Miles Away" (Winger), "Wanted Dead or Alive" (Bon Jovi), "I Saw Red" (Warrant) or "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" (Mötley Crüe). In recent years, a small revival of glam and sleaze (the slightly dirtier brother along with bands such as Guns N 'Roses, Skid Row or LA Guns) came on. Particularly from Scandinavia came some very strong bands with Reckless Love, Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx, Hardcore Superstar or Sister. Glam Metal also influenced post-hardcore and metalcore bands like Escape The Fate, Atreyu, and Asking Alexandria. Avenged Sevenfold and Back Veil Brides celebrate their highly successful mix of heavy metal, glam / sleaze and alternative rock and inspire an ever growing audience. The old heroes also experience a second spring and tour again cheerfully through the world, playing in full houses.
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Heavy Metal

Bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath are certainly crucial to the development of hard rock to heavy metal, which is harder than the conventional hard rock that dominated the world in the 70s. The guitar riffs are faster and harder, the solos longer, the double bass drum is widely used and the singers sing siren-high. Added to this was the leather look, which gave the band a rude and threatening image in the late 70s and early 80s. The "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" was the first wave that made Heavy Metal successful in the world. Among these bands were greats like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard (although their success began with their glam metal sounds), Saxon, Judas Priest, Angel Witch or Motörhead. The Headbanger was born. In Germany quickly a great scene emerged with bands like Running Wild, Rage, Helloween, Grave Digger or Accept. The U.S. did not sleep long and groups such as WASP, Mötley Crüe (at least at the time of the first two albums), Manowar, Danzig, Jag Panzer or at later times in their careers Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth followed. Heavy Metal can be seen as the mother of all metal styles. Everything that followed thereafter is based on Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Mercyful Fate and Co. Of course there were many controversies surrounding heavy metal. Tipper Gore (Al Gore's wife) wanted to ban the music with the initiative of Parents Music Resource Center. The initiative created a list of 15 songs, the "Filthy Fifteen", containing songs of bands like WASP, Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Judas Priest and even pop artists like Prince or Madonna, summarizing the topics like sex treat, drugs, violence or occult themes. This is where the "Parental Advisory" sticker that adorns many CDs to warn parents that this music could harm their children comes from.
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Text by © Berning and Eschenbach